Is Plastics Recycling A Priority at K2016?

Recycling Technology on Show at K2016

The UK has set an objective of recycling 57% of plastic packaging by 2020.  To achieve this target, the Plastics Industry Recycing Action Plan (PIRAP) is being implemented by the British Plastics Federation (BPF) and Plastics Europe with the support of WRAP.

However, with only 29% of plastics packaging presently being recycled in the UK (2015), the target of 57% appears to be presently out-of-sight.

2016 has not been a comfortable year for UK plastics recycling companies, with a number of closures across the country such as Boomerang Plastics and Ecotech in Rainham (now being reopened by Veolia).

Although there is political pressure to achieve the 57% target, there are questions about the financial viability, especially in the short term.  Setting up a successful plastics recycling plant is not cheap and requires substantial investment in technology.

Additionally, the plant will also need substantial land for the storage of raw feed and processing material.  Plastic is light and voluminous even when baled and regulations on storing and stockpiling mean that large storage areas are required to ensure that there is enough material to process on a constant basis.  And land costs money.

Technology remains the key to unlocking the door to successful plastics recycling.  At K2016, there are 134 companies listed as supplying ‘recycling equipment’.   However, this is only 5% of the total number of companies listed as supplying ‘equipment’.  Is this an indicator of the real priority being given to plastics recycling?

We [Bunting] have supplied Metal Separation equipment to a number of plastics recycling operations in the UK including:

The future of plastics recycling remains unclear, apart from the large and looming figure of 57%.  Plastic industry exhibitions like K2016 have an enormous responsibility to showcase the technology that will enable the UK and other countries around the world achieve their plastics recycling targets.  Maybe more needs to be done to get more companies supplying recycling technology to the show.

Bunting provide a range of metal separation solutions for the recycling industry.  For further details on the Bunting range of Eddy Current Separators, Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please contact our technical sales team on:



Meeting New Distributors at K2016

Metal Detector and Magnetic Separator Sales Growth in Plastics

On stand G16 Hall 10 at the K2016 (19th – 26th October 2016, Dusseldorf, Germany) plastics exhibition, one of our [Bunting Magnetics] primary aims is to further expand out network of distributors and marketing agents.

Day 1 at K2016 was very busy with a great deal of interest in our Quicktron Metal Detectors.  The issue of metal contamination plagues all plastics processors and manufacturers of plastic components and products and so it is no surprise that the level of interest has been high.

The range of Metal Separators sold into the Plastics Sector is extensive, with simple Cartridge Tube Magnets, Drawer Magnets and more complex Metal Detectors.  If a company has a metal contamination problem, then we have the experience, knowledge and product range to provide a solution.

Our product range also extends to Plastics Recycling and we have installed Metal Separation Modules (incorporating a Drum Magnet followed by a Eddy Current Separator) and High Intensity Separation Conveyors (HISC – for stainless steel separation).

We have published a number of case histories on installations and these include:

Details of where Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors are located in a Plastics plant can be found in one of our Perfect Plants.

The ideal Distributor or Marketing Agent will already be working in and supplying processing equipment to the Plastics sector.  We believe in supporting all our representatives and will provide training and regular support with visits by our technical sales team into the territory.

If you are interested in becoming a Bunting Distributor or Marketing Agent please contact our Head of Sales Dave Hills on:

Phone:  +44 (0)1442 875081


Via our website


Do You Need a Magnetic Separator or Metal Detector?

5 Keys Questions to Ask Before Making a Decision

There is a metal contamination issue that needs addressing and the conclusion is that either a Magnetic Separator or a Metal Detector will solve the problem.  So, before a purchase is made, what key questions have to be asked?

  1. Why is the metal contamination an issue? This may sound like an odd question, but why has this issue suddenly become a burning problem?  Is it because the metal has damaged other equipment or is it because the metal has ended up in the end product either just before or after being supplied to the customer?
  2. What and how big is the metal contamination? Metal contamination can occur in many forms:
    1. Large sized metal items include spanners, screwdrivers, broken pieces of other equipment and even mobile phones; Metal Found in Plastic Recycling Bunting Magnetics-3
    2. Medium sized metal items include nuts, bolts, nails and pieces of damaged pumps,
    3. Small metal such as shards from a broken screen, pins and fragments from worn equipment;
    4. Fine and very fine metal contamination that occurs from worn processing equipment, especially when processing hard materials such as cocoa beans;
  3. Is the metal magnetic or non-magnetic? Oddly enough, some ‘non-magnetic’ metals such as stainless steel can become very weakly magnetic if they are work hardened.  The edges of stainless steel bolts are often weakly magnetic, as is fine stainless steel originating from the wear of processing equipment;
  4. What is the extent of the metal contamination issue? Very often the issue will only be raised when either a customer complains, a key item of processing equipment is damaged or a batch of product is rejected by internal quality control.  However, finding such metal contamination once means that it is highly likely that there is metal passing through the system undetected;
  5. How much does and could the metal contamination problem cause the business? Sometimes this is difficult to calculate as how much is a damaged reputation worth?  If an item of equipment is damaged, then it is easy to put a figure on the repair or replacement cost, but what about lost production and the associated labour costs?

Unfortunately, addressing and solving a metal contamination issue is not as simple as just installing one item of equipment, whether it is a Magnetic Separator or Metal Detector.  A Magnetic Separator may not capture a larger stainless steel item, whereas the Metal Detector will not be useful when trying to remove fine or very fine metal.  Also, there are the practicalities of installation to consider, with space and the process being key issues.  The only way to correctly determine what is needed is to undertake a full review of the process, assessing critical areas and the potential sources of the contamination will result in a complete and robust solution.

So as to the original question, the answer is that it is highly likely that both a Magnetic Separator and Metal Detector will be required, located at different points within the process for very specific objectives.

For more information or a site review by our trained sales engineers, please contact us on:

Phone:  01442 875081


Via the website

Stainless Steel Isn’t Magnetic, or Is It?

4th of 10 Magnetic Separator Myths

The vast majority of stainless steel used in plants processing foodstuffs, chemicals, plastics and handling bulk materials whether in solid, liquid or powder form, is non-magnetic.

Or is it?bunting-magnetics-europe-ltd-ffs-magnet-0086

Traditionally, Magnetic Separators were installed to remove any ferrous metal.  Today, this has expanded to include any magnetically susceptible material, including magnetic plastic, used for gloves and even tools.  Magnetically attractable metals come in the form of steel or iron and are strongly attracted to the surface of a magnet.

However, as the attractive strength of permanent magnets, such as Rare Earth Cartridge Magnets has increased, analysis of the captured metal has shown that stainless steel is present.  So how is that so?

Most stainless steel ending up in a process line originates from broken or worn processing equipment and is often small in size.  During the process of being broken or worn, this abraded stainless steel has been work-hardened.  This results in a slight change in the metal causing it to be very weakly magnetic.

With the right design and strength of Magnetic Separator, weakly magnetically susceptible materials such stainless steel can be attracted to the magnet face and captured.  Even ‘non-magnetic’ stainless steel bolts are found to be very weakly magnetic on the head of the bolt, especially if a spanner or socket has been used for tightening and loosening.

So even though a Magnetic Separator will not capture all stainless steel, those with a high magnetic attractive force (eg Rare Earth Magnets) will attract and capture a high percentage.  This is ideal when trying to reduce the amount of metal passing through final stage Metal Detection.

Other articles in the series of blogs looking at Magnetic Separator Myths include:

For more information or a site review by our trained sales engineers, please contact our team on:

Phone:  01442 875081


Via the website